News and notes from the international slot industry

GTECH Corp. acquires 50 percent interest in Atronic

Lottomatica S.p.A.’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Gtech Corp., closed Jan. 31 on its acquisition of a 50 percent controlling interest in the Atronic group of companies owned by privately held Gauselmann Group. GTECH paid $20 million for the 50 percent equity stake.

Gtech also announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the remaining 50 percent of Atronic for $32 million. The transaction is subject to routine regulatory reviews and approval prior to closing, which is expected by the end of 2008.

The company expects to fund the cash portion of the transaction from existing cash balances. The overall transaction is expected to have a total value of approximately $172 million, which includes approximately $120 million of debt.

Atronic is a market leader in Europe, Russia and Latin America, with a solid presence in the United States and growing footprints in Africa and Asia. In 2006, Atronic had total revenues in excess of $152 million. The company, which will continue to maintain its established worldwide brand identity, holds a total of 230 worldwide gaming licenses, including 27 U.S. states and 165 tribes. Atronic, together with Gtech and Spielo, are licensed to sell products in more than 300 gaming markets globally, including Nevada.

Cadillac Jack WAP hits twice in Mexican casino

Cadillac Jack’s wide area progressive, Cadillac Cash, awarded two winning jackpots in one weekend at Divertimex’s Casino’s in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

The progressive awarded about $2,036,987 pesos to one lucky winner Dec. 7 and $934,153.31 pesos to another winner Dec. 8. The jackpots mark the first time the Cadillac Cash link has hit in Mexico, following two hits in the United States earlier this year.

Representatives from Cadillac Jack and Divertimex presented checks to each winner on Dec. 8 at Casino’s in Hermosillo, one of the seven bingo halls operated by Divertimex, which is operated out of the state of Sonora.

In Mexico, the Cadillac Cash wide area progressive operates on 140 electronic bingo gaming machines in 12 bingo halls throughout Mexico.

Viridian cabinet showcased at ICE

Aristocrat Technologies’ Viridian cabinet was unveiled for the first time in Europe at the International Casino Exhibition, held Jan. 22-24 in London.

The Viridian combines “green” credentials with a raft of significant operatorbenefits encompassing efficient design, such as a smaller footprint and ergonomic player interface together with enhanced serviceability features, the company said in a news release.

The Viridian, which earned the top award in Global Gaming Business’ Technology Awards, was the star attraction on the Aristocrat Technologies stand, which also showed some 80 Aristocrat models, the company’s Casino Management System 7000 and new innovations from ACE Interactive as well as PokerPro.

European Sales Director Marcus Honney indicated the company’s new range of products for 2008 represents the most vibrant offering from Aristocrat in recent years.

“Viridian and Gen7 form the cornerstone of the company’s innovative new approach to 21st Century gaming. The ‘green’ Viridian cabinet, with its host of operator and player benefits, is the essence of modern gaming technology: smart, stylish and designed to perform. The Gen7 platform drives the power behind the performance, allowing Aristocrat to develop new and ever more exciting games whilst providing a perfect host for ongoing developments in downloadable and server-based gaming.”

The physical aspects of Viridian include a slimmer footprint compared to other cabinets; a high-resolution LCD touch screen to support enhanced graphics; an ergonomic mid trim featuring six patented trilobe buttons to support Aristocrat’s Universal Player Interface (UPI), as well as supporting a range of peripheral products; high-quality speakers to support Gen7’s enhanced sound effects; an LCD top box supporting advanced functionality, including dynamic pay tables; topper art with LED edge lighting; wraparound belly art panels to facilitate easy game recognition; and lateral edge lighting.

Operators will benefit from lower running costs through Viridian’s efficient use of lighting and electrical consumption, in addition to lower heat emissions. Keys and meters are ergonomically angled for better accessibility and ease of service. A “smart access” design also allows for faster game conversion.

O1 Insights to debut new slot with Rocket Gaming

01 Insights Inc., a custom software development firm and content provider, in conjunction with Rocket Gaming Systems, has announced that its proprietary, patent-pending new slot game, Diamond Drop, will be released on the Rocket Gaming system this spring.

Diamond Drop, a video slot game, features five spinning reels at the top of the screen. The player bets on the columns, not pay lines as in a traditional video slot. When the player’s first reel spin stops, the symbols drop into the columns below the reels. With the next four subsequent spins, the player hopes the reels will result in matching patterns within the columns. The game will premier in Class II casinos throughout the United

States in server-based, multi-denomination versions.

“This concept is unique and exciting for video slots. We are delighted to have a forward-thinking partner to help us effectively launch this first game in our column-based series. Rocket Gaming Systems brings an established product base, a very progressive view of the gaming business and the ability to make things happen with this new product venture. We are thrilled to bring this product to market so quickly,” said CJ Buckley, 01 Insights director of business development.

“Diamond Drop is one of those exciting, new and differentiating concepts. Having developed a variety of product with 01 Insights, we know their content is engaging and entertaining for our players, and the underlying architecture of the product is robust and efficient,” said Rocket Gaming CEO Ron Harris. “Rocket Gaming Systems has been a leader in bringing high value progressive jackpots to the Native American market. We believe in seeking out new market niches and pursuing market leadership among those customer bases. We feel Diamond Drop offers us another opportunity to bring some great earning product to our customers.”

Bally Tech signs agreement with Seminole tribe

Bally Technologies has signed a three-year operating agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to provide an initial order of 2,000 new Class III gaming machines for the Seminole’s seven casinos in Florida.
Bally’s agreement is part of the Seminole tribe’s initial Class III gaming machine order following the Jan. 7 approval of a new compact between the U.S. Department of the Interior and Florida Governor Charlie Crist that allows Las Vegas-style slot machines and card games at the tribe’s gaming facilities in Tampa, Hollywood, Immokalee, Coconut Creek, Brighton and Big Cypress.

Players at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood were the first to play Bally’s Class III games Jan. 28.

Bally is providing an array of high-performing video and stepper games, including Golden Monkey, a popular five-reel, 25-line video slot, Hot Shot Progressive, Quick Hit Platinum multilevel progressive, and the company’s Millionaire Sevens multilevel progressive.

Cyberview granted gaming patent

Cyberview Technology Inc. has been granted a distributed gaming systems architecture patent.

The patent is listed as US 7,297,062, “Modular Entertainment and Gaming Systems Configured to Consume and Provide Network Services.”

Cyberview provides server-based gaming solutions and has introduced a downloadable system for U.S. casinos. The architecture allows for the accommodation of regulatory requirements as demanded by gaming jurisdictions worldwide.

The patented architecture overcomes the critical technical and security limitations of present-day technology, while its agility allows for the accommodation of regulatory requirements as demanded by the most rigorous standards of gaming jurisdictions worldwide, Cyberview said in a news release.

The patent is setting the foundation for future-proofing the concept of distributing gaming using the SOA, or Service Oriented Architecture, as applied to every hardware or software computing resource in a gaming system.

Using the award-winning technology, the company stated, Cyberview’s strategic plan calls for rapidly increasing its presence in the U.S. marketplace. The company also will continue its strategy to license certain gaming patents in its portfolio to clients in key gaming markets.

“We have patented the server-based command and control C&C blueprints,” said Seamus McGill, Cyberview chief executive officer. “If you’re building distributed gaming systems, with the intent to place your solutions in the highly regulated first-tier gaming markets, our technology will meet and exceed all of your requirements.”

Thierry Brunet, Cyberview chief architect, noted the patent’s technology “gives the operators and the regulators the means for monitoring and control of networked gaming operations, presently desired, but not yet available.”

Iverson Gaming, Carnival finalize system agreement

Carnival Corp., a cruise vacation company, and Iverson Gaming Systems, Inc., a gaming industry solutions company, have finalized an agreement to develop and implement a customized integrated casino management accounting system to support all Carnival brands.

The new system, Casino Management Accounting System, is expected to significantly improve financial controls and operating efficiencies by harmonizing casino accounting systems across Carnival Corp.’s various brands and lines.

Iverson Gaming, out of Philadelphia, offers technology solutions to the global gaming industry in the areas of casino accounting, slot management and a range of supporting operational and consulting solutions. Currently, the company serves clients in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. SlotManager

Moving on up: promotions and appointments

3M appoints new gaming manager

3M Touch Systems announced the appointment of Trent Looney to North American Gaming Manager.

Looney will report to Scott Hagermoser, gaming business manager, and will work with 3M counterparts in Europe and Asia to service international gaming customers. He will also lead a sale and technical team that includes two dedicated field application engineers and James Industries, Inc., a manufacturer rep firm based in Las Vegas and Chicago.

Looney has more than 10 years of gaming sales experience, most recently with AC Coin, Progressive Gaming International and Mikohn Gaming. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in gaming management.

Agua Caliente makes Carnahan exec. director, slot performance

Ken Carnahan was promoted to executive director of slot performance for the Agua Caliente Casino and Spa Resort in Palm Springs, Calif. In his new role, Carnahan will be responsible for all slot performance activities at both Agua Caliente Casino and Spa Resort Casino.

He spent the last two years as director of slots at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Agua Caliente Casino and Spa Resort Casino are owned and operated by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

In April, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians will open a $300 million resort hotel next to the casino in Rancho Mirage.

WMS Gaming names Salat New international president

WMS Gaming, Inc., a subsidiary of WMS Industries, Inc., has promoted Sebastian Salat to president of WMS International.

In his new role, Salat oversees WMS’ international business strategy, market development, sales and distribution, as well as operational execution efforts. He focuses on the international capabilities of WMS’ Orion Gaming and Systems in Progress, which were acquired by the company in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Both companies will report to Salat.

Salat joined WMS Gaming in 2000 and most recently served as WMS International’s vice president and managing director. He has more than 25 years of experience in the gaming industry through numerous positions, including that of managing director of UNIDESA Gaming, a slot manufacturer in Europe and Latin America. He has degrees in electrical engineering, marketing and international trade as well as a master’s from the Polytechnic University of Barcelona, where he has been teaching international trading since 2004.

WMS designs, manufactures and markets video and reel-spinning gaming machines, video lottery terminals and leases participation gaming machines in legal gaming venues.

Cadillac Jack selects new chief financial officer

Cadillac Jack has appointed Kenneth Anthony as chief financial officer.

Anthony will oversee all accounting-related operations and direct the company’s financial initiatives.

Prior to joining Cadillac Jack, Anthony served as chief financial officer for Timbervest, a privately held company. In addition, he has financial leadership experience with Kmart Corp., Ford Motor Credit Corp., Apple Computer and Ernst & Young.

Tower named as new GSA protocol director

The Gaming Standards Association named Ethan Tower its new protocol director. Tower will join the staff immediately and oversee the continuing development of GSA’s System-to-System protocol as well as ensure alignment of schemas between S2S and G2S, or Game-to-System protocol. Tower is a 15-year veteran of the gaming industry. During that time, he has held system development positions with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, GameLogic, Foxwoods Resort Casino, International Game Technology and SyCo Development Corporation.

Videobet appoints Cercone asbusiness development director

Videobet, a subsidiary of Playtech Group, has appointed Peter Cercone as business development director.

Cercone’s role will include the ongoing development of opportunities with “Tier 1” operators and suppliers. He joins Videobet with more than 15 years of experience in the land-based gaming industry, having held senior positions with the Independent Gaming Corporation, TABCORP and BMM International. Cercone has spent the last two years with Gaming Laboratories International where he held the position of general manager-GLI Europe BV. During his time at GLI- Europe BV, he was responsible for business development, government regulatory development and operations within Europe.

“I am delighted to join the Videobet team. Their innovative products and professional manner will I am sure, lead to many more successful deployments of their server-supported, server-based and cross-platform technologies in previously traditional gaming markets,” Cercone said.

“We see the appointment of Mr. Cercone as a key component in the growth of Videobet as we continue to expand into Tier 1 gaming operations. His proven experience in government regulatory and business development arenas is a perfect complement to our leading edge technologies,” said Videobet CEO Shmuel Weiss.

Videobet is dedicated to becoming the No. 1 preferred solution for true server-supported and server-based gaming with world-class content.